Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service has come a long way since it first started offering free streaming movies and TV shows to Prime members just over four years ago. What was once a pretty scant catalog has since grown into an offering formidable enough to take on the likes of Hulu and Netflix. With the relatively recent addition of a slew of HBO series like The Wire, as well as popular BBC America series like Orphan Black, Amazon now has something to offer for nearly any viewer. So if you’re looking for a new show to binge on but aren’t quite sure which is right for you, just browse our categorized list of our favorites. After all, there’s more to Amazon Prime than simply free shipping and Transparent.
As information technology creeps into every aspect of life, one can’t help but look at the people controlling that technology (corporations, government agencies) with a wary eye. The modern world, at times, seems like the prelude to a cyberpunk dystopia, at least the way Mr. Robot portrays it. The show follows Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), a paranoid security engineer who, in addition to his day job working for a massive corporation, engages in acts of vigilante hacking. When Elliot is courted by a mysterious activist-hacker known as “Mr. Robot,” he has a chance to use his skills for more than acts of petty justice. Mr. Robot has a grand plan to topple society, and Alderson could play a key role. Mr. Robot is a cyber-thriller with a keen grasp of the technology it represents, but don’t mistake technical accuracy for realism; the show dives headfirst down a rabbit hole of paranoia and espionage, with a plot that constantly challenges the viewer’s perceptions.
Watch now on:
Mr. Show with Bob and David
Although Mr. Show never found a huge audience, it has cast a long shadow over the world of comedy. Hosts Bob Odenkirk and David Cross have gone on to have impressive careers, and it’s writing staff, including Scott Aukerman and Paul F. Tompkins, have become godfathers of contemporary comedy. Watching Mr. Show now, it’s hard not to see how its DNA has seeped into modern television. Each episode is a collection of surreal sketches, loosely tied together. The sketches often erupt into absurdity, such as a gang war between ventriloquists from different coasts, and the two leads morph easily into the many bizarre characters the plots require. Time has not dulled Mr. Show’s edge one bit; the writing remains far sharper than anything on SNL these days.
Watch now on:
Television is awash with romantic comedies, most of them fetid, and that’s a shame. After all, there are few premises as universal, as primal, as falling in love. Catastrophe, created and written by Irish actress Sharon Horgan and American comedian Rob Delaney, avoids the pitfalls of most romantic comedies on television. There are no “will they won’t they” moments here, just two people whose mutual attraction quickly entangles them. The show begins with Rob Norris (Delaney) visiting London, where he meets Sharon Morris (Horgan). The two hook up for the weekend, and a few weeks later, after Rob has moved back to Boston, Sharon calls to tell him she is pregnant. The two decide to make things work, despite the protestations of their friends and parents. Shows that focus on an intimate relationship live or die based on how compelling that relationship is, and Rob and Sharon’s romantic alchemy is at the core of Catastrophe. They’re witty without being precious, emotional without being melodramatic.
Watch now on: